Russia conducting major air exercises close to Europe

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Russia is staging a series of major aerial exercises near Europe as tensions with the West continue to escalate over the crisis in Ukraine, state media has announced.

More than 50 combat aircraft of various types are taking part in the live-fire exercises in the western military district of Russia, the Sputnik news agency reported.

The exercises, which began on 17 February, will involve Sukhoi Su-34 ‘Fullback’, MiG-29SMT ‘Fulcrum’, MiG-31BM ‘Foxhound’, and various Sukhoi Su-27 ‘Flanker’-series combat aircraft.

According to the reports, the exercises will culminate with the Ladoga-2015 exercise over Lake Ladoga, east of the city of St Petersburg.

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